Police Can Legally Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

According to Slashdot, a new ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found by a margin of 9-2 that law enforcement does not need to get a warrant to grab your cell phone’s location records. The justices ruled that there is no expectation of privacy for your location when you’re using a cell phone. This decision (PDF) was based on a case in which a man was convicted of robbery after months of location data was given to authorities by his cell phone carrier, MetroPCS. Police got the information using a court order, rather than a warrant, because there were less stringent requirements involved. One of the judges wrote: “We find no reason to conclude that cellphone users lack facts about the functions of cell towers or about telephone providers’ recording cell tower usage.”

Details are available at http://goo.gl/ZVNcW9. The court’s ruling may be found (as a PDF file) at http://pdfserver.amlaw.com/nlj/DAVIS_CA11_20150505.pdf.

One thought on “Police Can Legally Obtain Cellphone Location Records Without a Warrant

  1. That’s been true since Congress passed the USA Patriot Act back in 2001. The 4th Amendment has been watered down to the point where a warrant is now optional rather than required.


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